One of the most common issues that plumbers are called in to handle each spring is flooding basements due to improperly functioning sump pumps. Since these pumps do not typically operate during the winter months due to the groundwater surrounding your home being frozen, it can be virtually impossible to know if the pump is experiencing any issues during this off-season. That is why it is so important to check your sump pump to ensure it is working properly early in the spring season before the ground thaws completely and begins sending large amounts of runoff water towards your home's foundation. When checking out your sump pump, be sure to check the following parts and functions.
Make Sure The Pump Cycles On And Off
After long periods of remaining dormant, some outlets or circuits will go into a standby mode in order to protect against energy surges. If you find that your sump pump is not cycling on, fixing this issue may be as simple as resetting the outlet or circuit. Low water levels and an excess of debris in the sump pit can also be to blame for pumps that will not turn on.
If, on the other hand, your sump pump is running continuously, this could be a sign that the switch on the pump is experiencing a malfunction or that there is debris in the discharge pipe that needs to be removed. These are both tasks that should only be addressed by experienced plumbers.
Make Sure The Pump Is Not Tilted Sideways
In order to function properly, a sump pump should always be in an upright position. In some cases, the vibrations caused by these pumps cycling on and off will cause them to tilt to the side. If your pump is tilted sideways, be sure to push it back into an upright position.
Make Sure The Ball Moves Freely
The ball inside your sump pt must be able to move freely in order to trigger the pump to turn on when the water level inside the pit becomes too high. If there is any debris obstructing this essential part from moving freely, this debris will need to be removed. This should only be done once you have ensured that the circuit for the pump has been turned off to prevent it from turning on while you are clearing away the debris.
Make Sure Water Is Being Discharged From The Pit
Using a small bucket, pour clean water into your sump pump and watch carefully to ensure that the water is effectively being discharged from the pit. Be sure not to pour too much water into the pit at a time in case there are any issues with drainage.
Evaluate Your Need To Call In A Plumber
If you discover any issues with the function of your sump pump when performing your own inspection of the system, be sure to call on an emergency plumbing service. You do not want to wait several days or weeks to have these issues addressed since a sudden increase in water can easily result in a basement flood if your sump pump is not working properly.
If everything seems to be working fine, you will still want to call a local plumber to schedule your annual pump maintenance appointment; however, there is no need for this appointment to be made on an emergency basis.